Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 11
Verse 17: “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”
The old saying, “To err is human, to forgive is divine”, although not scripture per say, it is scriptural none the less. Today’s “gold nugget” speaks on this very subject. “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” To forgive is to show mercy. When someone has wronged you we typically put them on our short list. So many violations and then they are out of your life. Where did we get the okay as humans who all err, or even worse Christians that have all “erred” and fell short of the Glory of God, to start even keeping a list? Mercy is better defined as “controlled” forgiveness. Basically, to show mercy is when we have a “right” (and I use that term loosely) to be angry and yet we show mercy by choosing to overlook the violation. That is to say, we don’t even charge to their account. There is of course a wise time and place where we have to draw a line and protect ourselves and our family, but where we draw the line and where God would draw the line are usually two different locations. One night I was in the backseat letting my daughter’s boyfriend drive us home. We went through an intersection kind of fast, this while another car looked as if they weren’t going to yield. I expressed my concern for what had happened. His response was, “We had the right of way”. I (half joking, half serious) replied, “Yeah, and they can put ‘We had the right of way’ on our tombstones.” He’s a good kid, but the mindset is that of a young man with much to learn. Being right doesn’t always make it right. The point is, we don’t always have to be right and someone else doesn’t always have to be wrong. Sometimes we need to be merciful to those that err and show the divine character of God. Elsewhere in Proverbs we read a powerful verse of scripture if applied correctly. Proverbs 19:11 “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.” We need to throw away the score cards and show the divine character of God that is merciful and forgiving. Is there anyone that you need to show mercy to today?
Lord, there are those that (in my mind) are not deserving of my tolerance and mercy, but I know that I am just as undeserving of your tolerance and mercy. So for that, I conform to your Word that says, “If I will not forgive others, you will not forgive me”. Amen
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